You’ve probably seen it before on the news. Bear terrorizes neighborhood as it goes dumpster diving. Mountain lion mauls lone hiker. Simple truth of the matter is that modern society is encroaching on some of the last spaces left for wild animals, and as a result there’s some cohabitation going on all parties would rather avoid.Same holds true for werewolves. And vampires. And trolls. And fae. And every other magical specimen out there. But unlike a dumpster overturned by a curious bear, the people in the suits really can’t have the intrepid members of the Eyewitness Action 5 News Family poking around the site of a demon summoning. That’s why they created the Extranormal Regulatory Administration. The EnRA has a simple mandate that like many simple government mandates has turned into a multi-billion dollar boondoggle, “Administer to extranormal events and specimens that occur on American soil and protect the American people from undue stress caused by such entities”. The EnRA is basically a social services administration, shadow government, military, and law enforcement agency all rolled into one, all to keep the increasingly blatant activities of the supernatural under wraps.You are Agent Amber Jensen, one of the people tasked with keeping the supernatural world under wraps. As an agent of the EnRA’s Enforcement Division, it’s your job to deal with supernatural entities and events that intrude upon public society and put a stop to them. The pay is great for a government job and the health benefits are excellent. Which is less a perk and more a requirement with how fast you go through anti-migrainatics.Master Pastebin:http://pastebin.com/6QexDk3H
You lie on your back, staring at your right hand. Unlike the one (ONE) time you tried pot in college, this time you’re staring at your hand because it is genuinely interesting. Not that tendons weren’t absolutely fascinating when you were blazed out of your mind, but you certainly didn’t have three inch long knife like claws replacing your fingers at about the second joint in sophomore year. No this is a newer development.Even as you think about it, you can feel apologetic shame emanating from your guest. You had found out about the claw late this morning, unfortunately while you were holding a mug of lukewarm coffee in your right hand. The symbiote had been more than willing to show off its final ability, and the razor sharp edges ended up cracking through the ceramic and spilling black liquid all over your pajamas. Another surge of shame as you recall the shocked silence that followed the shattering mug, followed by a startled yelp.Well okay, to be fair, more like you screamed like a horror movie extra. Also to be fair, the other two powers, which you have termed Predation and Regeneration, had far less overt effects than this last one. Predation made you move and think faster, heightening your senses while Regeneration allowed you to recover near instantly from minor injuries. You kind of supposed this last talent would be more subtle like the first two, which made your hand’s sudden transmogrification into a lethal weapon more than a little alarming.
You lurch out of bed, taking care not to accidently slash anything with your new claw. The claw on your hand was quite unlike anything you’ve seen before. The closest you could compare it to would be a ghoul’s talons, but those terminated in long, thick, disgustingly filthy nails with jagged, wickedly sharp edges. If you had to describe it, these claws were a lot less nasty and a lot less organic, looking more like somebody just put KA-BAR knives with an inward curve where most of your fingers should be. You wiggle them around for the umpteenth time, and watch with bemusement as they respond to your thoughts. It really pushes the bounds of credulity, to think those virtually inorganic appendages are a part of you.Still, better you find out about the last ability by spilling coffee all over yourself on your day off, rather than at work. After manifesting as a mage and giving yourself third degree burns in the process, your boss Captain Kolburne, made the executive decision to implant a symbiote into your body, which consumed the aether you produced as a mage and turned it into biological energy to speed along your recovery as well as keep the Aethralion from trying to recruit you. Dr. Parker, the egghead in charge, figured that the symbiote would have even more power if implanted into a human being. Turns out he was right.You reach back into the distant vaults of your mind, where the sensations from the symbiote emanate originate. You don’t really have a mental picture of the creature, but somehow you can tell it’s curled up in the corner, feeling very ashamed and quite small. You can feel it eyeing your mental self like a recently chastised dog, wondering if the big lady is still angry.
>Do you say something to the symbiote>”Well you should be. You can’t just warp my hand without warning like that!”>”Oh, stop crying over spilled milk. Or coffee in this case. I’m not even mad.”>”Accidents happen. I know you meant well, but I need to have a better idea what will happen when I feed you aether next time.”>Write In>Say nothing to symbiote
>>39408160>>”Accidents happen. I know you meant well, but I need to have a better idea what will happen when I feed you aether next time.”
>>39408160>”Accidents happen. I know you meant well, but I need to have a better idea what will happen when I feed you aether next time.”
>>39408160>”Accidents happen. I know you meant well, but I need to have a better idea what will happen when I feed you aether next time.”>Write In"Now can I have my normal fingers back please? Kind of need them."
>>39408160>>”Accidents happen. I know you meant well, but I need to have a better idea what will happen when I feed you aether next time.”>>But next time you do that I will curl up your hair into drills, put you into a frilly dress and then make you walk in front of your friends at parasite high.
<Accidents happen,> you think, sternly but not unkindly, <I know you meant well, but I need to have a better idea what will happen when I feed you aether next time.>The symbiote gives a small blip of understanding, and returns to being curled up in the corner. You sigh softly and mentally squat down next to it. <But hey, could you do me a favor and give me back my normal hand? I kinda need it to do normal things now.>The symbiote complies tragically, you watch in fascination as your hand returns to its normal form, before collapsing into a wad of self pity in the back of your mind again. Well, it’ll get over it eventually. You return your focus to the real world. The appearance of the claw hand has greatly disrupted your morning ritual, mostly because you couldn’t trust yourself to put on actual clothes without ripping them to pieces. You glance around your apartment for a second, just to make sure no one saw anything. You live alone in a first floor unit that’s a little too big and homey to be called an apartment, but not quite hoity toity enough to be called a condo. The place is nice, with wooden floor boards and a fair number of windows, which are a welcome source of air and sunlight when your right hand isn’t warping into a vorpal claw. Suspiciously glancing around once more, you open up your closet and choose your outfit for today.>What do you put on?
>>39408700beige cargo pants and a running top
>Nah just fucking with you. This ain’t some pissy little slice of life quest.You pull out some jeans, a shirt, and a track jacket. Your mother would probably suffer an aneurysm if she saw you dressed so sloppily, but then again you’ve got something new to horrify her with at Thanksgiving aside from your lacking fashion sense. It’s less that you have none, and more that you have better things to worry about.Things like how small time drug dealers got their hands on military grade weaponry and magical power. Forensics gave Malone’s autopsy extra priority and you had the preliminary report on your desk before you left the office that day. The man had a huge amount of that new pink drug circulating in his system when he died. Call it a hunch, but you personally figure that had something to do with all the fireballs and delusions of grandeur.You’re about to attempt to make another pot of coffee when you hear the doorbell ring. Scowling, you walk up to the peephole, and squint through it. A tall man, with dark hair, dark eyes, and an amount of scruff that bordered on unkempt is standing on your front step. He’s fidgeting around with a wooden baton of some sort, which in combination with his trenchcoat makes him look like either a flasher or some bozo who never got the memo trenchcoats went out in the 40s.Mother. Fucking. Danzig.>The blinds are all shut, pretend you’re not home.>Answer the door, you’ve got a word or two for that trenchcoated fuckwit.>>Write in words.
>>39408751>Answer the door, you’ve got a word or two for that trenchcoated fuckwit.I'm tempted to claw through our door to scare the shit out of him, but then we'd be without a door to stop the likes of him from freely entering
>>39408751>>Write in words.Turn your hand into claws and open the door.
>>39408751>Answer the door, you’ve got a word or two for that trenchcoated fuckwit.
>>39408751>Answer the door, you’ve got a word or two for that trenchcoated fuckwit.Ask him why the fuck he is bothering us, and why we shouldn't throw him into traffic.
You pull open the door, your no coffee scowl transforming into a Danzig in my line of sight scowl. Danzig looks up at you as you open the door, a bizarre mixture of emotions crossing over on his face. You interrupt him before he can start speaking. “Alright Danzig. What are you doing at my house, and why the hell shouldn’t I throw you into traffic?”Danzig swallows. “Uh, hello, Jen…” you squint at him. He hasn’t earned nickname rights. “...sen. I heard that you and Ritter encountered a surprise mage yesterday?”“We did,” you reply, “So why don’t you bother Ritter about it.”“Well, uh, I tried but apparently he’s out of town or something. I’m only here because Kolburne sent me,” he says quickly, pulling out his temporary consultant’s ID and holding it up to you. “He said to talk to you first.”You pull the ID out of his hands and look over it. The Saintsburgh EnRA office occasionally employs Danzig as a consultant, usually when we need some magical advice. Not that we don’t have mages of our own, just that we like to keep them under the radar and things have apparently gotten a little to overt for our in house mages to help us sweep up without the Aethralion getting suspicious. You snort, druggies flinging fireballs around probably would catch the Aethralion’s attention. You hand the ID back to Danzig, who takes this as a cue to start speaking again. “Do you think you could let me in, Jensen? I can’t really talk about this in public.”>”No, this is my day off. Meet me tomorrow.”>”Fine.”>Call Kolburne and see if you can’t get the order rescinded>Write in
>>39409215"Why should I talk with you on my day off?"
>>39409215>”Fine.”>You got 10 minutes, this is my god damned day off and your burning precious daylight.
>>39409215>>scare him away with hand claw
>>39409215>”Fine.”Make it quick, offer him no hospitality, get him out of our hair as soon as we're done passing intel back and forth.
>>39409443Now that would hardly be polite.Lets offer him instant coffee.
>>39409554I thought we weren't trying to kill him.
“You have ten minutes. This is my goddamn day off and you are burning precious daylight.”Danzig nods in acknowledgment and steps into your house. He glances around a bit before you push him towards the kitchen/dining room table and sit him down. You busy yourself making another pot of coffee. “So,” Danzig says, “This Malone guy, he manifested magical power?”“Well judging from the fireballs it was either that or he was a lactose intolerant with a gallon of milk and a lighter.”Danzig snorts involuntarily. “Okay yeah, maybe that. And you figure it was because of that drug in his system?”You stare at the coffee pot as glorious black ambrosia drips into the vessel. “Danzig, you’re Mr. Magical Man. Weren’t you supposed to find that out?”“Well yeah, I looked at the samples you guys captured. The stuff is infused with huge amounts of aether. I’m almost certain that whatever power he was using came from that.”A pause, then he continues speaking. “Also, we’ve heard rumblings of something big, between the dealers and TK15. It sounds like they’re going to arm them for real this time, give marching orders. Any ideas where that might take place?""Docks for sure," you reply without skipping a beat. "Best place to get mass amounts of goods into Saintsburgh under the radar."It's your turn to pause before you speak again. "So why come to me?”“I want to know, what’s your read on this? Kolburne said you had some ideas about what’s going on.”“Easy,” you reply, “TK15 is somehow manufacturing these super drugs, buying off drug dealers’ loyalty, arming them, and siccing them on Limited Liability. Easy take over, minimal loses on TK15’s side to get it done.”
You turn around, frowning. “It’s pretty straightforward, if I’m being honest. Not that deep of a plan, if I’m right. You should’ve been able to figure it out yourself, unless that coat left you in some semi-permanent state of heat stroke.”Danzig nods, quiet for a little while, before speaking again. “About the warehouse Jensen…”>”We talk the case or not at all Danzig.”>”What about it?”
>>39410253>”What about it?”
>>39410253>”We talk the case or not at all Danzig.”
>>39410253>>”What about it?”Mind your hand.Try to make sure that nothing else transforms.
>>39410253>”We talk the case or not at all Danzig.”The wizards want to know about us eh?Fuck them
"What about it," you reply warily.Danzig sighs. "The Aethralion told me to figure out how you suddenly became a not mage anymore, but honestly that's your business and that's that."“You’re goddamn right it is,” you growl, not willing to deal with whatever sort of bizarre reaction Danzig would have upon discovering a magical parasite in your gut.You watch him skeptically as he continues speaking. "Listen Jensen, I'm really sorry about what happened there. In the warehouse I mean. I should have been able to detect the wendigo, and the fact that I didn't was sloppy of me. I could have created a shield or something to keep you protected from the flames too, I was just too slow. And you paid the price for that. I’m so sorry I let you get hurt, I failed as a magickar and a man.”You narrow your eyes. Oh, he certainly meant it, and he definitely seems contrite, but there’s something about his attitude you don’t much like.>”Yeah well I’m fine and I’m also a perfectly capable adult human being. You’re not fucking superman, get over it.”>”So try not to fuck it up next time.”>”Soooo is that all? Because I have actual things to do today.”>Write in>”Oh Danzig, I forgive you. And if you could protect me from now on, I would be so very grateful!”
>>39410647>”Soooo is that all? Because I have actual things to do today.”
>>39410647>”So try not to fuck it up next time.”
>>39410647>Oh Danzig, I forgive you. And if you could protect me from now on, I would be so very grateful!”Bahahahahahahaha No.>”Soooo is that all? Because I have actual things to do today.”
>>39410647"Hold up, what do you mean 'Suddenly not a mage anymore?' Did you know ahead of time or something that I had the potential?" In an angry/accusatory tone.Also>”Soooo is that all? Because I have actual things to do today.”
>>39410792>Did you know ahead of time or something that I had the potential?Well Amber was burned by the flame she summoned. That would be some pretty strong evidence that she had the potential.
>>39410647>”Oh Danzig, I forgive you. And if you could protect me from now on, I would be so very grateful!”To fuck with him. Then straight:>”Yeah well I’m fine and I’m also a perfectly capable adult human being. You’re not fucking superman, get over it.”
>>39410875There is that, but I was wondering if perhaps he had an inkling prior to that, which would have been somewhat part of why he treated Amber the way he did.Well, in addition to his Fedoracity.
>>39410875I think it was more than just flame we summoned, though we still don't even know what we actually did.
“Soooo is that all? Because I have actual things to do today.”You don’t, but frankly a day lying on your ass and watching netflix is a damn sight better than a day in Danzig’s presence. “Um, I suppose so…”“Good. Now get.”Danzig opens his mouth to say something more, closes it, then smiles sadly. “I suppose I deserve that. See you later, Jensen.”“Hopefully not,” you mutter after he closed the door, knowing it would be dashed. You yawn a bit and pour what coffee has managed to percolate into a new mug. A few long draws from it and the meeting with Danzig and the cut evisceration earlier slide away in a gentle tide of much needed caffeine. You sit down and open up your laptop, connect through the proper VPN, head over to the Social Security intranet site, activate another VPN, and log into the EnRA network.It is a little known fact within the Social Security Administration that they are host to the American government’s response to the extranormal world. In the early fifties, in a brilliantly precognitive move, President Truman passed a secret executive order mandating the creation of Extranormal Regulation Administration as a subdivision of the Social Security Administration. It was perhaps the best single decision of his presidency. As an independent government agency, the Social Security Administration had to deal with less oversight by common politicians and bureaucrats, and at nearly a trillion dollars each year in taxpayer monies it has more than enough cash for some to slip through the cracks and finance the United States’ secret war on the supernatural. And despite all the posturing to the contrary those dickheads in congress have yet to gut Social Security like they have NASA. A secure line of funding, sheltered in one of the largest and most byzantine government organizations out there, the Social Security Administration makes a surprisingly good host for EnRA.
Besides, people leak top secret military documents all the time. When was the last time anyone leaked internal memos from Social Security?You open up your email and check for any news. Outside of the usual HR bullshit, there’s a few housekeeping emails to take care of. Just as you finish, a new message appears in your inbox. It’s from Kolburne.>Hey all,>Planning a little informal get together for the folks in Lower East. Everyone who can make it, try to attend. We’re gonna start planning this year’s Non Denominational Winter Holiday Celebration.>Meeting at Paddy’s at 12 sharp! Be there or be square!You blink. Why the hell does Kolburne want to plan a Christmas party in early spring? Makes no goddamn sen- Oh shit. You suddenly recall that Ritter told you about getting strange emails just like this one back when you first joined EnRA a few years ago. In that time you never got a single one, or heard of anyone else getting one either.Kolburne wants to do something big. Something that might violate a few of the more serious regulations. And he wants his team’s opinion.>Write in RSVP
>>39411350as long as casual attire is fine we're at least interested in this
>>39411350"I'll be sure to be there. I'll bring the eggnog!"Except instead of eggnog we bring the holy wrath of our new Symbiotic Overlords
>>39411350do we get our day off refunded? and is it byo or not?
>>39411350"I'll be sure to be there. Anything to bring, aside from the usual eggnog/[insert codename for handgun]?"
>>39411350Should we prepare a gift exchange?Maybe I could grab one of those wonderful log cakes from the baker on the 12th avenue!
You lean forward, and quickly hammer out a reply.>I'll be sure to be there. I'll being the eggnog!You pause, then remember the code for bringing out the firearms.>Is this BYOB?You send it, the message joining a list of rapidly appearing affirmations from the other agents in the Lower East office. You sit back and check the time. Already eleven. You consider getting changed briefly, but decide that fuck it, it's your day off. A few seconds later a reply appears in your inbox.>Negative on the BYOB, shooter. Unlike you, the rest of us are only going to be there on lunch break.You nod. Okay. That's fine by you. You shut the laptop and place it aside and begin to pace around the room excitedly. An actual dark op meeting! What on earth could it be about? Well, obviously the TK15 drug dealer situation, but what could Kolburne be planning? Your mind races with possibilities.You eventually leave for Paddy's, arriving a few minutes before twelve. You walk into the dark pub and look around for a table. Eventually you notice one tucked away in the corner, several other members of the Lower East office already present. You walk over nonchalantly, trying to contain excitement and curiosity, and take a seat. Kolburne is already there, as is Ritter. A few minutes later and every agent who RSVP'd is present. Kolburne looks around, nodss at the barkeep, owner, and namesake, Paddy, who silently walks to the door, locks it, and puts up a sign that probably says something about a break. Kolburne waits until Paddy is gone before turning and speaking to you all.
"Alright everybody. Cellphones out, batteries out, put 'em on the table."You all comply in silence, shutting down your phones. From what you hear, Paddy's is a deadzone, but no point not being safe. People can listen in on those things even when they're off. Kolburne waits until all the phones are out before continuing."So, some of you might be aware already, but we recently got some intel from a little bird."Agent Allen Warrens nods. "Something about TK15 holding their own little secret Santa with Lower East drug dealers."Kolburne nods gravely. "I recieved a message from a reliable source that TK15 is planning to give away a lot of this new drug and a whole lot more guns to the dealers in the area. Jensen and Ritter can tell you what a clusterfuck of a combination that is."You and Ritter nod your heads in assent. "So," says Warrens, "When is it? Where is it?"Kolburne glances at him for a second before continuing his opening speech. "The little bird wasn't willing to tell us where or when. At least not unless we agree to their conditions."Kolburne pauses and looks around. "Limited Liability wants a joint operation to take down TK15."There is silence around the table, the calm before the storm.>Respond>"Sounds like a good idea. I saw what this pink shit can do. We need to nip this in the bud and we need help.">"We're not seriously thinking of getting coopted by those bastards in LL are we? Since when was EnRA helping out thugs in a gang war?">Write in
>>39411872>"Sounds like a good idea. I saw what this pink shit can do. We need to nip this in the bud and we need help."
>>39411872>>Write in"As much as I don't like the sound of it, its the best opportunity we have. I saw what this pink shit can do. We need to nip this in the bud and we need help."
>>39411872>"Sounds like a good idea. I saw what this pink shit can do. We need to nip this in the bud and we need help."Otherwise we'll be having mages on high end power trips all over the city. Of course We keep LL at a distance.
>>39411872What can we request from them? Deal's off if we even get a hint of LL wanting to use the pink stuff?
>>39411872>"We're not seriously thinking of getting coopted by those bastards in LL are we? Since when was EnRA helping out thugs in a gang war?"
>>39411872>>"Sounds like a good idea. I saw what this pink shit can do. We need to nip this in the bud and we need help."Only on the condition that they swear to never produce, sell, or otherwise aid in the distribution or proliferation of this chemical or any derivatives of it as well as actively make efforts to remove it from circulation via destruction of said chemical and its derivatives on the spot from here on out.
There is an explosion of noise around the table as a dozen agents all try to speak over one another. Limited Liability is a contentious topic. The criminal organization is virtually singular in its willingness to work with authorities against a common enemy. They are also widely viewed as the least problematic of all the major syndacites to have in your city.They are also known for coopting and corrupting legal authorities. It's not a well kept secret that both the EnRA offices and police departments in Philadelphia and Indianapolis, the two hearts of Limited Liability power, are both under their control through a combination of bribery, joint ventures, blackmail, and general corruption. Although certainly the least bad out of a lot of bad options, they're also the most difficult to root out.It's a deal with the devil.But you've seen what that drug can do. Turn some common thug into a masterclass spell slinger. A spell slinger with guns. And unlike Limited Liability, TK15 has very few compunctions about maintaining civil order.After a few minutes of angry talking, Kolburne calls the agents to order with a single gesture. There's a reason why he's the boss. He turns to you and Ritter. "Jensen and Ritter here have both crossed a dealer high on this new drug... this Pix is the name for it. In addition, Jensen was present in the warehouse where we discovered Pix for the first time, less than two weeks ago. In that time, we've had over two dozen arrests of individuals displaying unregistered magical power. Nothing nearly so bad as Malone, but it's only a matter of time. I want their read on this."You glance at Ritter. He vaguely gestures for you to speak first. "As much as I don't like the sound of it, it's the best opportunity we have. I saw what this pink shit - Pix - can do. We need to nip this in the bud and we need help."
Warrens snorts at the word help. You ignore it, biting back some unprofessional remarks.Ritter grunts in agreement as you finish speaking. "You know what I think about LL, boss," he says, voice rumbling, "But Jensen is right. Even if we diverted all Saintsburgh resources to rooting this meeting out I'm not sure we could find it in time. We don't know where or when it's happening. And we will not be able to contain that much activity if they do pull it off."Kolburne nods gravely. "I thought as much. Otherwise this conversation wouldn't have happened. Anyone else, thoughts?"Agent Mary Huang raises a finger. From anyone else, it would have been a weak, needling gesture, but she does it with a gravity far beyond the common nag. A formidable asian woman in her forties, Huang isn't tall, but she makes up for it with a grim scowl that is present on her face at all times. Kolburne nods at her and she begins speaking. "We cannot compromise with Limited Liability like this. We do not even know who is in leadership of the Lower East office anymore, ever since Lieutenant Kirkland was killed. That was five years ago. That means whoever is in charge right now is intelligent, cautious, and cunning. Exactly the sort of person we do not want to open ourselves to the influence of theirs."Agent Warrens speaks next, and without Kolburne’s acknowledgement. “Agent Huang is too conservative,” Agent Huang scowls even deeper at Warrens, and although you’re inclined to agree with him thus far, you do too. Warrens is a snake. “We have a unique opportunity here. To cripple both TK15 and LL by playing them against each other. Let the gang war play out a bit, drain both of their resources. We come in and sweep up the mess, easy peasy.”Warrens smirks smugly around the table.>Write in response>Or let Ritter do it for you.
>>39412358>>Write in responseAs much as I hate saying this, we need LL to keep order in lower east. Better the devil you know. We don't know what kind of weird group will come to power to replace LL if we have them remove. Do we really want to create a power vacuum in the underworld? We might even get another TK15 in their stead.
>>39412358>Write in response>"Or LL has the same idea when we don't join up and fucks us over the barrel with TK15, then tries to clean up TK15 after that. We're better off in bed with the snake we know than letting the two snakes plot behind our back"
>>39412358>Write in response"And then what? We let this gang war destroy our streets and leave nothing but blood and tears for us to sweep up? You would rather let them kill how many innocents and damage how much just so you wouldn't have to get your hands dirty? You would be doing their work for them. We stand by and watch and they will blow this up beyond anything we can handle, and they'll involve, endanger and injure and kill the public in doing so, we've seen how TK15 operates and how little they care about collateral or bystanders, theres a cop in ICU and his partner is dead because of this shit TK15 want to spread throughout the city and you want to let them roam about?"and also>>39412439>>39412446these
>>39412358>We can focus on protecting civilians and maintaining the masquerade, but letting TK15 and LL go at it without intervening will NOT end well.>What do we know about TK15, anyway?
You open your mouth to snap back. Not before Ritter slams his fist down on the table. You can hear wood splinter. You look up at the quarter orc agent, his eyes blazing with fury. “You little shit,” he snarls, pointing at Warrens with a massive finger. “You know what me and Jensen saw when we busted Malone? Two fuckin’ cops. Dead. Anthony Lucco and Jake Danielson. Danielson was burned to a fuckin’ crisp by magic fire and Lucco was gunned down. By ONE fuckin druggie! One!” Ritter brandishes his finger in the air like a deadly weapon, “You fucking tell me to stand back, let good people who ain’t clued in on this whole magical bullshit,” Ritter starts pounding his fist against the table, the thumps punctuating his sentence for him, “let them be fucking collateral damage from a gang war because we’re too much of a bunch of fuckin’ pansies to do our jobs goddamn right? And you got the balls to look pleased about that?”Silence falls over the room. You don’t wanna be racist or anything but maybe what they say about orcish tempers is a little true. You speak softly into the wake left by Ritter tirade. “We would be doing their work for them. TK15 doesn’t care about collateral damage or bystanders. We can’t gamble with people’s lives. Better we go with the devil we know. We don’t know who will take over in the power vacuum if TK15 and LL are both gone. Maybe something even worse than both.”
Silence falls over the room again. You glance over at Ritter, who is red in the face and breathing a little hard. He glances back at you and nods once, a gleam of approval in his eye.Kolburne looks around. “Alright then. I think we’ve said all that can be said. At least until our eardrums heal up anyway. Simple vote, we take up LL’s offer, yay?”A majority of hands go up, Warrens and Huang’s are among the few that stay down.“Nay?”Huang leads the remaining agents in putting her hand up. You glance over at Warrens to see that he failed to raise his hand. Good. Kolburne looks around. “Alright. I’ll let LL know. If you don’t want to, I won’t force anyone to come along on this… team building exercise. We’ll be planning Thanksgiving next, once I know what’s the situation. Dismissed”The agents get up and disperse towards the door, mostly in groups of two or three. You notice that Kolburne, Huang, and Warrens are all separate.>Do you want to talk to anyone, and if so, who and what about?
>>39412910>Ritter wanna go get some actual drinks? Just shoot the shit and try to get him calmer.
>>39412910>>39413010this, then talk to Kolbourne later if he's still around
>>39412910Talk to Kolburne to see what sort of followup investigation there was about the dealer.
>>39412910Talk to Kolbourne.Ask him about his opinion on the situation.
>>39412910>WarrensAsk him what he thinks about the pink stuff. Warn him not to underestimate LL.>KolburneAre we ever going to root out LL at this rate? There has to be something we've got that they don't, aside from more manpower.>Ritterhang out with him
You figure Kolburne is probably going to head back to the office pretty soon, so you swing by and stop him. “Kolburne, this situation, what do you think about it?”Kolburne stops and rubs his Selleck-esque mustache. “About TK15 and LL? Honestly? I don’t like it, but I don’t see how we can avoid it either. TK15 has LL over a barrell and LL is willing to drag us down with it unless we lend them a hand.”Kolburne glances at Agent Huang’s retreating back. “Huang’s got the right of it. In the five years since Kirkland got offed LL activities in Lower East haven’t abated in the slightest. And we have no idea who is in charge of Lower East. Not even who his enforcers are. We need this alliance now. But we can’t come to rely on them.”“Enforcers,” you ask, not entirely familiar with the LL command scheme. Lieutenants are perfectly straightforward, they control subsections of a city, operating under the supervision of the city boss.
“It’s hard to describe. When you join LL, you swear an Associate’s Oath, basically a code of rules and an oath of fealty not to your boss or the head of the organization, but to LL itself. It’s the keystone of why LL is so dangerous. Less internal fighting, more cohesive action, it’s the foundation of their organization. But, Enforcers swear ultimate loyalty to their leader, whoever they are, first and LL second. And they can violate the Associate’s Oath. That means they can kill other members of LL, act against LL’s interests… they’re dangerous people. Maintain internal order, assassinate rivals, protect their boss, hell even provide counsel and support, most great LL bosses had a master Enforcer at their back.”“So, we don’t even know who the Lieutenant’s Enforcer is?”“Not a clue,” Kolburne confirms darkly. “Although, on an operation as big as this one, I would be shocked if the Lieutenant didn’t send his Enforcer. Even if we are working alongside LL, this is a great chance to gather intel on them if we’re smart.”Kolburne suddenly looks down at his phone, which has started to vibrate. “Shit, I have to get back to work,” he glances over at Ritter. You all are the last three agents in Paddy’s. “Ritter, take the day off. I don’t want any police brutality because Warrens is a shitsnake.”Ritter grunts, and Kolburne takes his leave. You glance over at the massive agent. He’s not breathing hard and his flush of anger is mostly gone. Mostly.>What say you to Ritter?
>>39413619>Wanna get some drinks?
>>39413619"We're already at a bar and we're off duty, let's get some drinks."
>>39413619>>39413689this, get him a club soda and spice it with a dash of his favorite booze
Warning! Important questions upcomingWhat does Jensen drink???Also, what do you drink?And what's your favorite color?I like Waldhaus Ohne filter and my favorite color is blue,
>>39413882>What does Jensen drink???BourbonAlso, what do you drink?BourbonAnd what's your favorite color?Black or green.
>>39413882She drinks perfect Manhattans (meaning equal parts dry and sweet vermouth)I drink bourbon, although scotch isn't bad every now and then.My favorite color is Orange.
>>39413882>What does Jensen drink???The girliest drink of all: warm vodka
>>39413882Jensen drinks and what I do. Guinness and spiced rum. Usually captain but sometimes kraken or sailor jerry.
>>39413882Favorite colour would be red.
>>39413882Jack and Coke.Whatever is cheap usually but I love me a nice Trippel or Barleywine.Dark blue.>>39413985Love Sailor Jerry but me and hard liquor have a complicated relationship.
>>39413619>Story gets 3 replies>>39413882>meta discussion gets 6...
>>39414036Just got here mate.>>39414014Yep. Hard alc ain't nothing to fuck with. Took eight years for that to sink into my thick skull.
“Well Ritter,” you say “Seems we both have the day off. And are in a bar. Two and two is five.”Ritter snorts. “Isn’t it a little too early to be drinking?”“Only if you’re a bitch.”You walk up to the bar, where Paddy has reappeared, rubbing a stein with a carefully bored expression. You sit down at the bar and raise a hand. “I want a... “ About a trillion different drinks run through your head. You like booze in general. Eventually you settle on one at random. “Ahhhh a rum and coke. Heavy on the rum, light on the coke, make sure it’s Kraken.”Paddy grunts and turns to Ritter, who has taken up the spot next to you. “Miller.”Paddy turns away, disgusted at both of you for entirely different reasons, and Ritter turns to face you, a hint of amusement in his eye. “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph Jensen. Rum and coke at twelve in the afternoon?”“More like one, you piss swilling baby,” you reply, grinning.Ritter grunts in acknowledgement of his plebe tastes. “I’m a simple man. Good thing you stayed. Warrens was my ride here. Don’t think I’d be gettin’ the round trip after that.”You snort. “Fuck Warrens. What an asshole,” the drinks appear in front of both of you. You pick yours up and sip at it, while Ritter pounds down his Miller. You cock an eyebrow at him.“I gotta play catch up,” he replies, shrugging>Write in conversation>Or something.
>>39414206"At least you haven't had to talk to The Greater Bathrobe Association of Saintsburgh lately."
>>39414284Yes. All the snark. Also captcha wants e cats? That's a thing right?
>>39414206>>39414284this, that is so going in the archive description
I wonder how our symbiote handles booze, what do we call our symbiote?
>>39414433Fred gets my vote
>>39414433We should call it Ivan___.Or Ernest.
>>39414829>>39414829If we do that, we'll have to call it/him Little I or something in-thread to avoid confusion
“Well at least you haven’t had to talk to the Greater Bathrobe Association of Saintsburgh lately.” You reply, swirling your drink around sullenly.Ritter blinks “Why the hell were you talking to Danzig in the first place?”“He felt bad about the burns,” you snort, “Came around to apologize.”Ritter nods sagely. “Boy’s got a savior complex. Especially around you lady folks.”You grunt, and take a longer swig from your drink. “Don’t remind me. Second someone with two X chromosomes is in danger, he practically shits himself trying to come to her rescue. It’s goddamn embarrassing.”Ritter grunts his assent and lifts his second beer. “To Danzig, that annoying motherfucker.”You both drink to that.“You know, I don’t get it about the Aethralion,” you say, asking for an IPA to slow yourself down on, “Like, we’re allies with them, but we also hide our mages from them.”Ritter grunts before breathing out a long, slow breath. “Yeah well they’re despotic bastards in their own way. Sure they want to keep those extranormals away from normal folk, but they also have that entire dominion of magic thing going on.”You nod. The Aethralion was perhaps EnRA’s most constant and least trusted ally in the effort to keep the extranatural away from the mundane world. Although dedicated to the same goals, the Aethralion, sort of a ruling body of all human mages of notable magical talent, insistence to handle human mages outside of EnRA’s authority had lead to some long standing frictions. Namely the fact that they knew EnRA was hiding a huge number of powerful practitioners from them for it’s own personal use. Also their bad habit of kidnapping and executing American citizens who violated one of their laws of magic. But when mostly everyone else in the magical world were vampire mafias and dragon cults, you can overlook the occasional abduction. Just for someone with a bit more of a law and order bent.
And the Magickars were the manifestation of that law and order bent. Serving as the Aethralion’s military force and secret police, the Magickars were by and large wizards who were especially talented at combat magic, although more specialized forces existed. Unlike Europe and the rest of the old world, the Aethralion’s hold in the Americas and Oceania was relatively weak, which made Henry Danzig, the Magickar of the Saintsburgh region, less of a soldier in an army like his counterparts in Europe and more of a sheriff on the wild frontier. Part of that independent position was reflected in Danzig’s attitude. Despite his irritating version of chivalry he was a damned sight better than the rule bound alternative in the old world. In fact, from what you’ve heard, the EnRA equivalents in Europe are generally beholden to the Aethralion, rather than the other way around.“Yeah, that dominion of magic thing is pretty lame,” you agree lamely.>Continue talking? If so about what?
>>39415052I think we're tapped on write-ins, Fallguy.Unless we talk about TK15, which is work and not really small talk.
>>39415052So you ever run into a Wendigo? Fuckers are nasty.
>>39415052"We better get hazard pay for all this shit."
>>39415052Just sit there and drink
>>39415052I got nothing, maybe small talk about their first magical cases?
Alright final update and I'm gone.Thread tomorrow or sunday. Gonna be a Reinhardt one.
>>39415437Bout to fall asleep so thanks for running boss. You really need to cool it on write-ins though. We are not a creative lot and if you can't come up with something IC for us to work with we probably are going to struggle as well.
The pair of you sit there drinking for a while before Ritter speaks up again. “You know something, Jensen?”“What?”“I didn’t always want to be an agent. Not an EnRA agent anyway.”“Oh?”“Yeah. My dad, he was the half orc you see, he used to tell me as a little kid that he always wanted to be a cop when he was my age. Not my age right now, my age when he was telling me that stuff.”“Wouldn’t the, you know, fangs be a bit of a deterrent to that sort of thing?”Ritter snorts. “Right? But he was a little kid. Can’t hardly blame him. So obviously when he got older and realized that he couldn’t become an officer he went of the next best thing. He became an EnRA agent. Big into the cop stuff. Always loved to come home and tell me and mom about busting some criminal scum and all that. You know, the police stuff.”You nod.Ritter sighs. “I dunno. I don’t think he thought life as an extranormal was good, you know? Like a first generation immigrant in a way. He didn’t want me to be kept back by the same shit that held him back. Always wanted me to be as normal as possible. Thought it was the best for me.”“Shot in the dark. You didn’t agree with him.”
Ritter nods a smiles sadly. “Course not. Orc pride world wide. I tried to out orc my genetically twice as orcy dad. Always challenging him to fights and stuff, like what tribal orcs do. Well one day… I must’ve been pretty grown up by then, I’m doing this sort of warm up ritual to this headbutt thing orcs do. In public because I was a shithead then and I must’ve pissed him off pretty good… I think I said something like ‘don’t pussy foot around what you are, face me like a real goddamn orc’ because he shouts something and next thing I remember I’m in the hospital and I’ve got a record for aggravated assault. Dad didn’t want to press charges, but the prosecutor was running for mayor or something and he wanted to boost his tough on crime credentials. Wam bam, no more police force.”Ritter laughs and shakes his head. “Goddamn. My dad was so worried I wouldn’t get to be a cop because of what I was, he never thought it’d be because what I was trying to be. So I did like he did and joined EnRA. Never spoke to him much after that. Fucked up world, Jensen.”You shake your head. “Ritter did you just tell about your daddy issues?”Ritter blinks. “Yeah, I guess so.”“You’ve officially had too much. Let’s get home.”“Good idea.”>><<And that's all for today people. Another thread tomorrow or Sunday. Sorry things weren't too exciting to day, hopefully they'll pick up next thread. Reinhardt for sure.
>>39415890thanks for the thread SG/FG/MG/UV
>>39415890Thanks for running boss.
>>39415890Thanks for running senpai~
>>394159111 is not like the others
>>39416229... Oh no...Now I wish I went UncleGino
>>39416240Just do that next thread and we'll play along like it was always that, and if you don't we'll call you that anyway.
>>39416240>>39416259See you next thread, UncleGino!